Research shows strong social and emotional skills can also boost motivation, perseverance, and self-regulation – critical skills for academic and lifelong success. Furthermore, strong social and emotional skills at kindergarten entry help lower children’s risk of mental health problems in adulthood.
Children spend a great amount of time in the classroom. Teachers can use these opportunities to model and create a nurturing learning environment for children. Learned skills will provide a strong foundation for lasting development of social and emotional learning.
Below are components of social emotional development and ways you can support in your classroom:
Social Interactions: Focuses on the relationships we share with others, including relationships with adults and peers. As children develop socially, they learn to take turns, help their friends, play together, and cooperate with others.
Emotional Awareness: Includes the ability to recognize and understand our own feelings and actions and those of other people, and how our own feelings and actions affect ourselves and others.
Provide activities that promote respect for diversity (culture, ethnicity, special needs, and language).
Introduce activities that give children concrete experiences with the concept of different perspectives.
Self Regulation: The ability to express thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in socially appropriate ways. Learning to calm down when angry or excited and persisting at difficult tasks are examples of self-regulation.
Establish signals (finger plays, songs, chants, etc.) to help children transition from one activity to another.
Read aloud and discuss books that show characters regulating behavior, model and encourage children to express and act out different feelings in the dramatic play center while role playing.
Social and Emotional Development Research Background. (2017). Department of Education.
Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines